Psalm 78:71
(71) Ewes great with young--So also in Isaiah 40:11; but properly, ewes with lambs. Literally, giving suck.

Verse 71. - From following the ewes great with young he brought him (comp. Isaiah 40:11). The Hebrew word translated "ewes great with young" really means "ewes that are giving suck." This is the portion of the flock which needs the tenderest care. To feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance (see 1 Chronicles 11:2). As Peter, James, and John were called from their occupation of fishers to be "fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19), so David was called from feeding sheep to feed God's people.

78:56-72 After the Israelites were settled in Canaan, the children were like their fathers. God gave them his testimonies, but they turned back. Presumptuous sins render even Israelites hateful to God's holiness, and exposed to his justice. Those whom the Lord forsakes become an easy prey to the destroyer. And sooner or later, God will disgrace his enemies. He set a good government over his people; a monarch after his own heart. With good reason does the psalmist make this finishing, crowning instance of God's favour to Israel; for David was a type of Christ, the great and good Shepherd, who was humbled first, and then exalted; and of whom it was foretold, that he should be filled with the Spirit of wisdom and understanding. On the uprightness of his heart, and the skilfulness of his hands, all his subjects may rely; and of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end. Every trial of human nature hitherto, confirms the testimony of Scripture, that the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, and nothing but being created anew by the Holy Ghost can cure the ungodliness of any.From following the ewes great with young,.... Or, "from after" them (a); it was usual with the shepherd to put them before him, and to follow them, and gently drive them, which is expressive of his care and tenderness of them; see Genesis 33:13, the same is observed of David's antitype, the great and good Shepherd of the sheep, Isaiah 40:11. David was a type of Christ as a shepherd; as he kept his father's sheep, so Christ keeps those that the Father has given him, John 10:29, as David kept his flock with great care and courage, and in safety, 1 Samuel 17:34, so does the Lord Jesus Christ keep his flock in safety, and preserves it from Satan, the roaring lion, and from grievous wolves that enter into it, and every beast of prey that would devour it; and particularly as David took special care of those that were with young, so does the Lord take special care of such that are newborn babes, that have Christ formed in them, and are big with desires after him, carry a burden, and are weary, and heavy laden: the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, interpret the word (b) of such that give suck, and so it most properly signifies:

he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance; that is, to rule over them: this is said in allusion to his having been a shepherd; and nothing is more common than for kings to be represented as shepherds, and their acts of government by leading and feeding; and one and the same word in the Greek language signifies to feed and rule: and so the Targum,

"he brought him to rule over Jacob his people:''

this was a great honour indeed, to be the governor of the Lord's people, a special people above all people on the face of the earth, and whom he had chosen to be his inheritance; and in this also he was a type of Christ, who has the throne of his father David given him, and who reigns over the house of Jacob, one of whose titles is King of saints; for as the government of the world in general, so of the church in particular, is on his shoulders, Luke 1:32.

(a) "de post", Montanus, Vatablus, Gejerus; "a post", Michaelis. (b) "lactantes", Vatablus, Gejerus, Michaelis.

Psalm 78:70
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